In the eighth round of one of the oldest and strongest chess tournaments in the world, Tata Steel Chess, which is held in the Dutch city of Wijk aan Zee, 18-year-old Russian chess player Andrei Esipenko defeated the Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen with white pieces. The latter, after the 32nd move, stopped the clock, admitting defeat.
Andrey Evgenievich Esipenko was born on March 22, 2002 in the city of Novocherkassk, Rostov region. He started playing chess at the age of five – his father taught him this game. A few years later, Andrei began to beat his dad. The boy studied chess at the children’s and youth sports school (CYSS) in Rostov-on-Don.
In 2012, Andrey Esipenko began training with the grandmaster Dmitry Kryakvin. In the same year, the young man became a prize-winner of the Russian championship, after which he won the European championship in his age group with a score of 8.5 out of 9.
The chess player, despite his young age, took part in adult competitions, where he played with 17-year-old rivals. He, in particular, in 2012 won the Spartakiad of students of the South of Russia. Later, at the Supervisory Board of the Russian Chess Federation, a dispute erupted over Esipenko’s admission to the finals of the Olympics, since it turned out that, according to the regulations of the Ministry of Sports, he was too young to participate in the competition.
Esipenko has repeatedly won the championships of Russia, became the prize-winner of the championships of Europe, the world and the World Olympiad. In 2014, with a score of 8 out of 9, he took first place in the Russian Chess Championship among boys and girls from 10 to 18 years old in the group « Boys under 13 ».
At the age of 12, his rating was 2316 ELO points (a method for calculating the relative strength of players in chess games), which exceeded the rating of the world chess champion Magnus Carlsen at the same age.
In 2016, Esipenko won the European Championship and won silver at the World Under-14 Chess Championship. In 2017, he won the U16 World Youth Chess Championship with a score of 8.5 out of 11. In 2017, he took part in the Millennium Match in St. Louis as part of the World team, which played against the US team (category under 17).
At the 2017 World Rapid (Rapid Chess) Championship, Andrei Esipenko won a game with a cascade of sacrifices against Sergei Karjakin (considered the youngest grandmaster in history, won this title at the age of 12, entered the Guinness Book of Records).
In 2018, at the European Rapid Championship, Andrei Esipenko shared the victory with Valery Popov. However, he remained second in terms of additional indicators, while winning the highest chess title – grandmaster. In 2019, Esipenko won the Tata Steel side tournament. In August 2020, Esipenko won gold in the FIDE online Olympiad (held by the Russian Chess Federation) as part of the Russian national chess team.
Andrey Esipenko has won victories in rapid and blitz over the grandmaster and two-time winner of the World Chess Olympiads Alexander Grischuk, the world blitz and rapid champion Vasily Ivanchuk, as well as over the Russian champion Sergei Rublevsky.
On January 24, 2021, Andrey Esipenko defeated the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen at the tournament in Wijk aan Zee. After the victory, Esipenko entered the Mikhail Chigorin club, a symbolic club named after the first Russian chess player to take part in a match for the title of world champion. The club unites chess players from all over the world who have won at least one game with classical time control in an official face-to-face competition against the reigning world champion. Such a win is considered very prestigious for any chess player. The symbolic club has only 112 chess players from all over the world since 1889.
2021 JSC « Arguments and Facts » General Director Ruslan Novikov. Chief editor of the weekly « Arguments and Facts » Igor Chernyak. Denis Khalaimov, Director for Digital Development and New Media at AiF.ru. Chief editor of the website AiF.ru Vladimir Shushkin.
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